The challenges of communicating local viewpoints from Amazonia

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  • April 27, 2010

By Maira Magro

In a visit to the city of Sinop, one of the largest logging centers in Mato Grosso state, journalist Andreia Fanzeres asked a resident if she liked living in Amazonia. Her response was disturbing. “I only see Amazonia on television.” The journalist's discovery of the gap between the media's reporting and the knowledge of the local population about deforestation led her to move from Rio de Janeiro to Juína, in northern Mato Grosso, to research the topic.

Through a series of interviews with residents, published in this article by the site O Eco, Fanzeres noticed a lack of information about environmental topics. Her interviewees said the local press rarely or never published news about deforestation, climate change, emission of polluting gases, of sustainability. Nevertheless, most people prefer to receive information on local radio and TV, she says.

For Fanzeres, one of the main challenges of communication in the zone of deforestation is to reflect the points of view of residents in the most devastated areas, and not just those of decision-makers. This is no easy task, this video reveals. It documents a group of activists and journalists being expelled from the city in 2007 when they tried to meet with the small Enawene Nawe, in a region of conflict with loggers.

See also the work of Lúcio Flávio Pinto (background in English here), who has covered Amazônia for more than 40 years, from Belém, Pará.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.